Valentine’s Day marked every February 14, is a day of expressing love and showing appreciation to one’s loved ones. Valentine’s Day is not limited to romantic partners alone, it is celebrated globally between lovers and loved ones; those who share any form of friendship or family ties. Members of families get busy, especially at the beginning of the year but they could utilise the opportunity to celebrate themselves and express love for one another.
But the current state of the country might impede the celebrations from being massive as it usually is because it is biting hard on the average Nigerian. The rate of inflation has skyrocketed and the high cost of fuel has invariably increased the cost of transport fares. Also, there has been a scarcity of new naira notes since the inception of the cashless policy and the deadline given for swapping the old higher denomination currencies, making it difficult for people to purchase goods and services.
However, one doesn’t need to break the bank to give mindfully or show love to one’s loved ones.
An event planner/coordinator, Atinuke Ibrahim, said that though the economy is harsh, there are simple ways families can celebrate valentine’s without spending a lot of money.
Here are some simple ways to enjoy Valentine’s Day with your family.
Movie and chill night
Atinuke noted that families could choose to watch a movie unanimously on Valentine’s evening, get popcorn or small chops with drinks, and have a fun time watching together.
“It could even be a comedy movie so everyone would laugh, eat, relax, and have fun to ease the tension around. By doing this, they would experience and share the love of spending time together,” she added.
On her part, a relationship/marriage counsellor, Ijeoma Popoola, reiterated that one could employ simple ways to make little things seem big and elaborate, stating that when family members watch a movie (comedy preferably) together, it would foster that bond between them.
Individual shopping voucher
On getting individual voucher gifts, the event planner said parents could decide to gift every member of the family a shopping voucher which doesn’t have to be expensive, adding, “Let me paint a scenario of a family with three children, they could budget a gift voucher of N5,000 for each member of the family. They would go shopping together but each person will buy whatever they want within the stipulated amount on the voucher.”
Games are a way of creating stronger connections and team spirit among people, especially kids. Members of a family can adopt this trick too to create that bond and love-filled atmosphere without spending much.
Atinuke suggested that there are several interesting games families can sit and play together and while doing so they could have snacks alongside.
Popoola added, “In my home, we just bought a new game of Whot and the kids are still crazy about it. We will be playing that as a family and probably have popcorn and ice cream on Valentine’s Day. Kids just want to make memories and be sure that their parents are physically and emotionally available for them.”
Exchange of gifts
Gifts are simple ways of showing that you care for the person you are gifting, it’s also a way of displaying appreciation. The event planner advised that the names of each family member should be written on small pieces of paper and each person is to pick a name for who they will buy a gift without disclosure.
She added, “No matter how little the gift is, it’s a mindful one; that’s what counts. In some homes, kids have piggy banks so they can buy gifts too. There can be a rule for the kids to ask their parents for money to purchase the gift, it makes it more colourful.”
Family cooking fiesta
Cooking together is another way to spice up the bond between families. Atinuke said that families could organise a cooking fiesta where they draw up a cooking list after every family member has chosen the kind of food to cook, adding, “When everyone decides what they want to cook, ingredients should be made available. Everyone would get into the kitchen to cook and whatever the outcome, it’ll be set on the table for the family to have dinner together. They can buy wine and drinks to supplement. The beauty is the time spent cooking and dining together.”
Give what they love most
Popoola notes that giving what one’s partner loves is a good way to celebrate Valentine’s Day at a minimal cost. She said, “If your partner loves food, make homemade dinner; something they like but have not eaten for a long time. Remember to dress all up for dinner.”
Create things to do together
Being physically and emotionally available for your loved ones doesn’t cost a dime. The marriage counsellor said, “You can do the simple things together such as working out, baking a new recipe, driving a short distance together, or taking an evening walk as a family or as a couple, hand in hand to celebrate the day. I think it depends on the kind of family you are building. For some of us, simple things are enough so long as we are together.”